What the nomination was for: The Speech Pathology team are nominated for their development and implementation of the Master of Speech Pathology (MaSP) course. The MaSP is recognised as a world-leading blended online professional training course for speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The MaSP was the first Australian blended online speech pathology (SP) course to be awarded the maximum five-year course accreditation with Speech Pathology Australia, the national governing body for speech pathologists in Australia. Throughout this course the speech pathology team applies the Charles Sturt online learning model (2018) and an evidence-based constructivist approach to learning and teaching to deliver an innovative, high-quality student-centred university experience. Student and community feedback on the MaSP consistently identifies a rewarding and flexible student experience that prepares sought after work-ready graduates.
Why is it Excellence Award worthy: A 2018 Speech Pathology team research project revealed over 92% of MaSP students chose the Charles Sturt course over other courses because it was offered online, with more than one third of participants stating they would not have attended university at all without this course. MaSP students see benefit in the constructivist pedagogy for their future practice, as indicated by the following student comment: "I've really learned to embrace the style of learning … because I can transfer it to so many other areas that I may not be directly taught about." (Student feedback forum, 20/05/2021).
The national peak body of the profession, Speech Pathology Australia, acknowledged the strength of the Charles Sturt MaSP course stating: “the flexible and unique online learning offers prospective students an opportunity to commence a new profession. Students strongly advocated for the unique offering of the Masters ‘online’ program” (Speech Pathology Australia, accreditation feedback, 2020).